Each Wednesday I choose a word and think about it for five minutes or so, usually when I’m having a coffee break at work. I scribble down whatever the word suggests to me and post it when I get home in the evening (well, after walking the dog and eating my evening meal).
If you would like to join in then please feel free to do so. You can post it on your own blog (would be great if you pingback to me so I can have a peak), or post in my comments if you prefer. It’s up to you.
Today’s word is Emaciated: Definition = very thin and weak usually because of extreme hunger or illness, undernourished. Synonyms = skeletal; gaunt; cadaverous; atrophied; attenuated; haggard
When I looked at the word it immediately brought to mind images of the prisoners held in the Nazi concentration camps. For me those images encapsulate man’s inhumanity to man – the horrors that can take place as a result of those who can make a difference simply choosing not to ‘see’. So, this week my post is a piece of prose, a thought about other people in our own time, currently being corralled as a result of events taking place way beyond their control. Not at all strictly to do with the word, but the thoughts which entered my head because of the word.
Man’s inhumanity to Man
Past and Present
An unimaginable cruelty perpetrated through fear and hatred
A wish to exterminate a people, a culture, a religion, a way of living
A need to pin the blame for the world’s ills on an identifiable group of people
Those images of wasted bodies
Made ill through lack of nourishment and made susceptible to disease
Their gaunt faces staring back at us
Challenging us not to let such pitiless inhumanity happen again
Challenging us to guard against the urge to find a scapegoat
A scapegoat who will take the blame for the ills of our time
And yet, have we really learned anything?
Fast forward 70 years and what have we learned?
We raise our borders against the oppressed
We fear a body of people because of the actions of a misguided few
We point the blame towards those already suffering
We mistrust our fellow human beings
We watch as people flee the destruction of their homes,
Their lives, their families, their culture
Do we really want to deny them life and hope?
The politics of fear all too often win out
The louder the voices of doom
The more wary and suspicious we become of our fellow men and women
But, what if it were us who were being denied safety?
If our own homes were being destroyed?
What if we were on the other side begging to be allowed in?
Would we not be angry at those who would deny us
Access to safety, to a life, to a future, to hope?